You can find thousands of articles online that provide numerous and extensive tips for interviews.
There are articles on body language, what questions to expect from the interviewer, what to bring to the interview meeting, and many more.
Then there are the articles that share what questions you should be asking the interviewer. Written and used by professionals from a variety of fields as well as people with years of experience, you can pretty much read them all, take your favorite questions, and create your list of best questions.
The truth is you probably have a million questions that you want to ask your future employer. After all, if you’re going to spend 8+ hours per day at your employer, wouldn’t you want to know everything about that company? Unfortunately, you don’t have enough time with the person you’re meeting to ask all of them. So what do you do? Go through your list and select the ones that are most relevant to your learning. Then, consider who you are meeting with and match your questions with different titles within the organization.
You’ll probably land with around 6-10 main questions you’re curious about, but do the evaluation again and narrow it down to 4-5 questions total per person you are meeting with.
With each question, 2-3 follow up questions should follow.
Before we look at examples of how these questions should look, let’s review how we can transition with context to warm up the listener as well as follow up questions.
Warm up transitions
Providing context before you ask questions allows the listener to mentally prepare for what you’re about to ask and makes it seem more organized from the interviewer’s perspective.
When you preface and give the listener a “heads up” on any topic they can anticipate what’s coming. It’s also another opportunity to show your research and that your questions aren’t random, but that you thought of them with intent.
You’ll sound much more polished with warm up transitions rather than jumping from question to question without context. Overall it makes you a more effective communicator.
Follow up questions
Follow up questions are essentially clarifying questions that show that each of your questions are being asked with intent. Too many people ask questions simply just to ask questions. This isn’t the best strategy especially if you want to show that you’re intelligent and have done your research.
Below are questions with the follow up questions flushed out so you can see how it at looks.
*You’ll also find “warm up transitions” in between each set of questions to help preface to the interviewer the types of questions you’re about to ask.
The trick and challenge
When it’s your turn to ask questions the trick is to not make it feel like a back and forth Q&A session, but rather a conversation -- that’s why follow up questions are for. They’re relevant and sound natural and help make your questions flow. It’s challenging, but effective.
If you’re successful, you should make what 12-15+ questions sound only like you really asked 4-5 questions. Create the conversation, and you’ll come off more memorable to the interviewer!
*Prefacing your turn to ask questions
Well thank you for the opportunity, I do have questions about your company’s overall objectives, and more specific questions about the state of the business. I’d like to start with how well the company is performing if that’s okay with you...
I noticed on X article where you talked about how you wanted to grow your sales team by 180% by the end of Q3. What is your growth strategy to accomplish that?
- How are the current annualized revenue targets looking?
- Are you looking to open a new office in a different region?
- What is your vision for the sales team in the next 3 years?
*Warm Up Transition: Great, well thanks for sharing more about the state of the business and your vision. Now, I’d like to get a better understanding of the sales team and my role specifically...
2nd Question - What will be my quota?
- How many people are on the sales team?
- What percentage of the team is achieving quota today?
- What tools do you provide the sales team to help them work efficiently?
*Wow, that’s a solid sales stack. Thanks again for clarifying more about the role and how well the team is doing. Finally, I’d like to learn more about the management team here at X company…
3rd Question - What is the management style?
- How often will I meet with my manager for 1:1s?
- What is the preferred way to set up a meeting with the management team?
- What tools are used to measure my performance?
Wrap up -- Close on logistics. (I’ll write a separate post on the best strategies to close interviews, stay tuned!)
John originally shared this article on his Medium